Lewis Hamilton will have his newest engine back in place for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix as Mercedes look to launch a late assault to retain the Formula One drivers’ championship title.
The British racer closed the gap on leader Max Verstappen by winning the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Dutchman just eight points ahead with two races to go.
Hamilton, the reigning champion, can again emerge triumphant for 2021 if he wins the last two events of the season – and he’ll have the machinery from his successful Brazilian Grand Prix back in his car next time out.
The improvements made to his engine on that occasion meant that despite a grid penalty – plus being excluded from qualifying – he came from 10th to triumph in Sao Paulo and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff feels the layout of the track in Saudi Arabia means it’s ideal to bring back the so-called ‘rocket engine’, after it was replaced in Qatar.
“Saudi should be a good track for us, but we know this year when you think it’s a good one it can turn the other way around,” he said on Sky F1.
“But it’s a long straight, we’ll get our spicy equipment out for Saudi Arabia that we didn’t use [in Qatar] and hopefully Valtteri [Bottas] is right up there, we need him. But in any case, if everyone finishes the race it will go to Abu Dhabi.”
Wolff added that the entire package Mercedes have put together is in its best place right now, as they look to end top of the pile in the constructor standings as well as the drivers’.
“Yes, definitely. I think the car is quick on the straight and good around the corners.
“Degradation works fine – even at races in the Middle East and we have two to come of these – on old tyres.
“I think we have to push maximum attack. We have to catch up, make some points up and that’s just what we are going to do.”
Mercedes lead Red Bull by five points in the constructor standings.
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